Jeremy Renner Wants The Hawkeye He Signed On For

3 years ago by  

[Update: Hawkeye gets a bigger role in The Avengers 2.]

The first time Hawkeye was name-dropped as a potential character to be introduced in Marvel Studios’ interconnected cinematic universe was back after the success of Iron Man, when rumors pointed towards Hawkeye and Black Widow showing up together in Iron Man 2. Half of that came true and it wasn’t until Jeremy Renner shared some interesting information about a meeting he had with Marvel that we had what came to be concrete info on the character.

Renner, who’s a friend of The Avengers (pre-Joss whedon) screenwriter Zak Penn, had gone in initially to discuss Captain America and instead got caught up in a conversation about the character of Hawkeye. They talked costumes, stories from the books, details about the character and ideas for how he could show up in Thor and later in The Avengers. Two years later, that came true when on the eve of Comic-Con 2010 he had officially signed with Marvel Studios to play Clint Barton.

Hawkeye did have his brief introduction as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and skilled archer in Thor and he was one of the six core heroes feature in The Avengers. Unfortunately for the character however, and actor Jeremy Renner, in a movie like The Avengers there’s very little time to explore the backstory of new characters like he who didn’t have his own prelude via a solo character film. Instead, Renner’s scenes were relegated to mostly doing action set pieces and for a large part of the film, he wasn’t even who he was supposed to be thanks to Loki’s trickery.

Jeremy Renner with Sniper Rifle 570x234 Jeremy Renner Wants The Hawkeye He Signed On For

Renner sniping again in The Bourne Legacy

In chatting with Hero Complex for The Bourne Legacy, Renner reflects on not being able to play the Clint Barton he learned so much from Zak Penn and a big part of that is possibly due to Joss Whedon’s rewrite of the story and script.

“At the end of the day, 90% of the movie, I’m not the character I signed on to play. I’m literally in there for two minutes, and then all of a sudden… All I could really work on was the physical part of it all, because that didn’t change. That was just the biggest challenge to overcome in playing the guy. Also, we’re pretty much introducing a new superhero character to everyone in a movie where there’s a thousand superheroes. So there’s not a lot of back story or understanding we can really tell about who Clint Barton is, or Hawkeye, and is he working for SHIELD or not. There’s a lot of unanswered questions, even for me. And I was OK with that. At least I was still in the movie. And I was glad for that. The closest thing I could really link to was Scarlett [Johansson’s] character, Black Widow, because they have a history. And that definitely plays in the movie, I think. And obviously, you can’t go into too much just because there’s so much story to tell, but you definitely get a sense that they’re connected, and that there’s something really, really important that ties them together. And I could try to summarize it, but it can go a lot of places. That excites me, though, that there’s room for other things.”

Renner wasn’t a fan of playing bad guy Hawkeye:

“I prefer the good, because if we go to the evil part, or hypnotized or whatever the heck you want to call it, it’s kind of a vacancy. Not even a bad guy, because there’s not really a consciousness to him. The interesting part was being guilty about the bad things I did do when I was hypnotized. I think he’s already an interesting enough character. To really kind of take away who that character is and just have him be this sort of robot, essentially, and have him be this minion for evil that Loki uses. Again, I could just focus on the task. I was limited, you know what I mean? I was a terminator in a way. So yeah, fun stunts. But is there any sort of emotional content or thought process? No. That doesn’t exist in that time [that he’s hypnotized]. It happens to be for most of the movie.”

Clearly, the twice-Oscar-nominated actor would rather have been utilized differently, but he has no regrets and was happy to be a part of such an important film and franchise.

“You know, there are a lot of people in that movie. And a lot of important characters. And my character, I felt like if I can help serve story, then I did my job.”

Renner also addressed the often-repeated question of whether or not he’ll get his own Hawkeye film as suggested by Marvel president of production Kevin Feige. While he says he doesn’t know and that it depends on Marvel (“we’ll see”), we all know the Hawkeye solo film is not going to happen simply due to the amount of other characters and stories that are taking up the studio’s resources (and release dates). Renner does happily speak about how cool his bow was in the film and he shares his knowledge of the character from the books being a lone wolf and not always a team player. Hopefully for fans (and Renner), we get to see that explored in The Avengers 2 and, if rumors are true, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier before that – a film which is seemingly shaping up to be the SHIELD movie.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014 and Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014.


More: Hawkeye Gets Bigger Role in Avengers 2


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Hero Complex

Hawkeye concept art by Andy Park.


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: agents of shield, hawkeye, the avengers, thor


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  1. As much as I loved “The Avengers”, my only complaint was not enough Hawkeye. C’mon, Marvel…give him his own movie!

    • YES! YES! YES! He should have his own movie. My complaint to Avengers was also not enough Hawkeye.

    • Agree… Completely, totally, wholeheartedly, 100% agree.

  2. Hawkeye does need his own movie. I really hope I see him in Captain America 2 because……… The last captian movie was very. Lame. Way too much montage, and not enough captain doing what he does best.

  3. Look, just do a West Coast Avengers movie and put everyone in there that they can’t fit into the other movies. Hell let California get destroyed once in awhile in a movie….

  4. I agree that Hawkeye needed more Hawkeye, the reason I barely liked Thor was because he wasn’t Thor for almost the ENTIRE movie.

    • Honestly, that’s what made it watchable, I thought. Honestly, I’ve never been a big Thor fan, and I mostly saw it as a prequel to seeing The Avengers — so I really had no emotional investment in the character, who has always come off to me as one of those “DC perfect” heroes with no emotional core. By forcing him to work without his super powers, he got an emotional core, and I cared what happened to him.

      I’m sure he’ll get to perform a lot more kickassery in the sequel.

  5. Ending titles with prepositions. Classy.

    • Nitpicking.


      • Me.


  6. Would definitely love to see Hawkeye and Black Widow featured in a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie. I guess a Hawkeye movie would be cool too, but I like seeing him and Black Widow working together, as Renner mentioned in the interview. I think having Nick Fury involved would be cool too, so that’s why I’m thinking SHIELD.

  7. Well, I can’t see him having his own movie (or a SHIELD movie with Black Widow) but I know they have big plans for Hawkeye, maybe in Captain America 2 or the next Avengers movie. I mean, come on, they cast Jeremy Renner for a reason. He’s like one of the best actors out there playing dramatic scenes, better than, say, Chris Evans.

    • Wow. Best actor for dramatic scenes? that’s a streeeeeeetch if i have ever seen one.

      • You obviously haven’t seen Neo Ned.

  8. I want to see a S.H.E.I.L.D movie that is about the creation of the agency that way more Hawkeye and Agent Coulson would still be alive it could serve as an orgin story for Black Widow also and more Sam Jackson never killed anyone.

  9. I want to see a S.H.E.I.L.D movie that is about the creation of the agency that way more Hawkeye and Agent Coulson would still be alive it could serve as an origin story for Black Widow also and more Sam Jackson never killed anyone.

      • And original Nick Fury. Marcus dad, maybe be more Nick Fury centric.

  10. Hawkeye was cool and proved he was a worthy avenger by first being a worthy opponent. Almost everything was a strong point in the avengers, but definitely so was he.

  11. i don’t care what anybody says! to me he’s not hawkeye without the mask! Also I think this guy should have maybe been cap and chris been hawkeye not the other way around! that could be the 80’s guy in me talking! i have no idea what jeremy has done but really this time around he was just a guy with a bow!

    • Do you mean what has Jeremy done as an actor? Because if so than he has done a lot. He starred in S.W.A.T, The Hurt Locker, The Town, The new Mission Impossible and the new Bourne Movie

  12. I would love to see a Hawkeye and Black Widow movie.

  13. I think a Shield movie starring Hawkeye and Widow would be good. Cameo’s from Fury, Maria Hill, and maybe even Coulson if they go the prequel route.
    Don’t think Widow, Hawkeye or Fury could carry a single movie but I combined effort would work well. It would be like Mission Impossible in the Marvel universe.

  14. I’m all for a SHIELD movie. Not just to see more of Hawkeye and Widow (who are SHIELD agents so it would make sense for them to be main characters in something like that), but they could use the opportunity to introduce a new hero through SHIELD. Maybe Black Panther or someone else, whoever they may want in a sequel movie.

    I think Captain America: TWS is also a great choice for Clint and Natasha to be included, it would make sense since Steve is kind of working for SHIELD, so if something happened he would get agents to accompany him on a mission. Cap is not the lone hero type most of the time. I support that idea as well.

    Clint really was not introduced much in “The Avengers”, but what can you do… there was no time for it I suppose. Hopefully we get more of him in upcoming movies. I sure hope so.

  15. Waaaaaa. Geezus, millions without work and he’s crying about being in one of the biggest movies ever?

  16. A solo Hawkeye film would be nice, but to be honest, I really didn’t want to see him in the Avengers film. Why? Mostly because he didn’t come into the team until several issues later from issue #1, and I am a strong believer in the idea that if you make a ‘comic book’ movie, go with what is in the comic, NOT by what Hollywood thinks should be in the movie. I have no problem changing the storyline to feature current events (good example- Iron-Man’s origin going from Vietnam to Desert Storm), but have the actual main characters from the team in the film- Ant-Man, Wasp, Hulk, Thor and Iron-Man…IT WOULD HAVE WORKED. The same went with the X-Men, but I guess as long as there are those who have no idea what comic books are, then these movies will be made terribly.

    Consider this- how many ‘reboots’ have been made, and how many more are in the works, because Hollywood didn’t get it right the first time?

    • But the context of the film is very different from the comic books. Just like Iron Man is a post-Gulf War Hero, this is a post-9/11 Avengers. In the film universe, The Avengers Initiative is the government-sponsored uniting of superpowered individuals for the defence of Earth. Hawkeye and Black Widow are agents of SHIELD and are just SHILED’s liaisons to the Avengers (or maybe from SHIELD’S perspective they’re functioning as Super Hero wranglers.)

      • @Justified Jake-

        True, what is written for a comic book movie is set differently than what is seen (and read) in the actual comic storyline (good example- The Walking Dead). I understand the need to create the story differently so that fans don’t predict, and therefore, get bored with what they’ve already read (and seen) in the comics. But the question is, who is it that sees these films? Comic fans. It’s the comic fan that sees Galactus and boo’s when he’s made into a cloud, the comic fan that decides NOT to complain and suddenly there’s Amazing Spider-Man instead of Spider-Man 4, and rumors of a Fantastic Four reboot instead of FF3. The movies aren’t bad for someone that ether just wants to see the characters FINALLY on the big screen and are happy to skip over a few minor flawed details, or for the viewer that didn’t really read the comics. I can’t help but wonder just what would happen if someone in Hollywood decided…just once…to go with what is in the comics completely, update the time frame, but overall set the movie…say, the X-MEN, to have CYCLOPS, ICEMAN, ANGEL, BEAST and MARVEL GIRL.

        I bet it would not only work, it would be a blockbuster hit.

  17. Hawkeye is just an archer and particularly without the mask he is not a super hero character worth exploring in a solo film. Save your money Disney.

  18. I got the idea that because Barton was compromised so the audience would get the idea of just how powerful and formidable he could be. If Hawkeye was never placed in opposition to his team he may have been obscured alongside his powerful mates.

  19. I don’t usually do this but… your article gave me a headache. I had to re-read many parts a few times because the run on sentences made no sense. Is this your job or a hobby? If it’s a hobby I apologize for saying anything. If it’s your job… WOW!

  20. I agree with him. Hawkeye was pretty useless in The Avengers.

  21. i personally think that while a solo movie may be out of the question, a team up exploring the relationship with black widow would be good.. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” or something like that. or even a video game with the actors having a voice over. the recent hulk movie had a lot of nods in the direction to it’s predecessors that i think worked for it, from the walking in the rain that was famous in the series to some of the scenes from video games too. so why not follow the formula for Hawkeye as well? and if done right and the civil war is introduced he can even double as cap for a bit

  22. I agree with you, it was not enough Hawkeye, he needs his own movie!! But I love The Avengers too! :)

  23. Sometimes people do something really good, like the massive alteration/ update of the Hawkeye character and then fail to realize how potentially popular that move was. Others realize it, and jump on it. Arrow is coming out this fall.

  24. I think that Hawkeye deserves his own movie but I see where the studio is coming from

  25. why can’t a Hawkeye movie be feasible? It certainly is likable and, i must say bankable, if we are to believe all the feedbacks online. this idea should not be ‘out of the question’. Marvel must consider doing this (and not just a SHIELD movie inclusion).

  26. What would a Hawkeye movie look like Renner? Probably no more different than him in the amped up Jason Bourne series. He’s just not that interesting of a superhero as an avenger. If he’s an assassin, then a movie with him needs to have him killing people, and what kind of ‘goodguy’ vibe can you get there. He should just be happy he has a small part and collect the paycheck. It’s not Renner’s fault, just Hawkeye not having any real special powers.

  27. i had heard little about hawkeye all i knew was a name but when i saw the avengers movie (which he was’nt in as much as i would of liked) he went in to the higher part of the top ten favorite super heroes

  28. The Villian in the new Avengers movie is known for destroying worlds with a glove that was supposed to be in Thor’s war room in Thor’s movie and will be responsible for the death of some Avengers I believe. Hawkeye is expendable and not enough of a character to carry his own film.

  29. I liked Hawkeye well enough, but really, I’m far more interested in Black Widow and her backstory, than I am in Hawkeye’s. There’s plenty of focus on the men as it is.

    If anything, if there were plans to make any more single Avengers movies, I’d love to see a Ms Marvel, a Wasp or a Black Widow movie, instead of yet another movie focuses on the male characters.

    Though I wouldn’t mind having Clint as the love interest, male co-star in a movie focusing on Black Widow.